by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura Mahasaya | 2010 | 123,965 words

The Bhajana-rahasya Text 8, English translation, including commentary (vritti). The Bhajana-rahasya is a compilation of verses describing the mercy of the eight pairs of names (Yugala-nama) of the Maha-mantra. This is text 8 belonging to the chapter “Ashtama-yama-sadhana (Ratri-lila–prema-bhajana sambhoga)” representing from midnight to three-and-a-half praharas of the night: approximately 00.00 a.m.–3.30 a.m.

The premī-bhakta’s behaviour, characteristics and activities are expressed in Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam (11.2.40):

एवं-व्रतः स्व-प्रिय-नाम-कीर्त्या जातानुरागो द्रुत-चित्त उच्चैः
हसत्य् अथो रोदिति रौति गायत्य् उन्माद-वन् नृत्यति लोक-बाह्यः

evaṃ-vrataḥ sva-priya-nāma-kīrtyā jātānurāgo druta-citta uccaiḥ
hasaty atho roditi rauti gāyaty unmāda-van nṛtyati loka-bāhyaḥ

In the heart of one who adopts such a transcendental vow, attachment for chanting the name of his most dear Lord arises and melts his heart. Now he rises above the condition of the general mass of people, and he is beyond caring for their opinions and views. In a natural way–not out of pretence–he acts as if mad. Sometimes he bursts out laughing and sometimes he sheds floods of tears. Sometimes, in a loud voice, he calls out to Bhagavān and sometimes, with a sweet voice, he sings His glories. At other times, when he perceives his beloved standing before his eyes, he even starts dancing in order to please Him.

एइ व्रते कृष्ण-नाम कीर्तन करिया
जात-राग द्रवच्चित्त हासिया काङ्दिया

ei vrate kṛṣṇa-nāma kīrtana kariyā
jāta-rāga dravaccitta hāsiyā kāṅdiyā

चीत्कार करिया गाइ लोक-बाह्य त्यजि’
एइ व्यवहारे भाइ, प्रेमे कृष्ण भजि

cītkāra kariyā gāi loka-bāhya tyaji’
ei vyavahāre bhāi, preme kṛṣṇa bhaji

Commentary: Bhajana-rahasya-vṛtti:

The devotees of the Supreme Lord always chant His auspicious names. As a result of this kṛṣṇasaṅkīrtana, all kinds of anarthas are removed; the heart is purified; many lifetimes of sins and their result, transmigration, are destroyed; all kinds of good fortune arise; all the sādhana one needs to attain prema-bhakti is transmitted into the heart; kṛṣṇa-prema appears; one begins to relish the nectar of prema ; one attains Śrī Kṛṣṇa; and finally, one becomes cooled and purified by immersing himself in the nectarean ocean of eternal service. At this stage, through the essential function of hlādinī (hlādinī-sāra-vṛtti), kṛṣṇa-saṅkīrtana boundlessly increases the living entity’s natural bliss. Now the living entity is eternally fixed in one of the rasas (dāsya, sakhya, vātsalya or mādhurya ), and moment by moment, he relishes complete nectar through an ever-fresh attachment for Śrī Kṛṣṇa. Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s sweet pastimes appear in the devotee’s heart and he repeatedly relishes the sweetness of the Lord’s beauty and all His other qualities. This everfresh sweetness astonishes the devotee and his heart melts.

While describing the glories of kṛṣṇa-nāma-saṅkīrtana to Prakāśānanda Sarasvatī, Śrīman Mahāprabhu said, “When I chant the name My guru gave Me, it automatically makes My heart melt. Sometimes this name makes Me dance, sometimes it makes Me laugh and at other times it makes Me cry.” This is the nature of the mahāmantra;it makes kṛṣṇa-prema arise within whomever chants it. Kṛṣṇa-prema is the topmost goal (parama-puruṣārtha); the other four puruṣārthasdharma, artha, kāma and mokṣa–are insignificant in its presence. The nature of prema is that it gives rise to a restless heart, and the devotee who is controlled by this nature sometimes laughs, sometimes cries and sometimes, being maddened, starts dancing.

In his commentary on this verse, Śrīla Viśvanātha Cakravartī Ṭhākura writes that by chanting the holy name, the sādhaka experiences a variety of pastimes as they naturally appear in his heart. He laughs when he hears Śrī Kṛṣṇa’s joking words with the vraja-devīs during the rāsa-līlā or in the pastime of stealing butter, and he weeps when his vision of a pastime (līlā-sphūrti) ceases. He thinks, “I have relished the nectar of Your sweetness only once–when will I attain it again?” Lamenting like this, he rolls on the ground and, heaving long sighs, falls unconscious. Later, when he again sees Bhagavān everywhere, he is overwhelmed by happiness and becomes maddened. The devotee who performs such transcendental activities is devoid of bodily needs.

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